social media…and identity

 In education

Hello, friends.

Many of you may know that I’m passionate about yoga, relationships, and teacher training. What you may not have known quite so explicitly is that I’m also a fledgling educational nerd. I am passionate about the delivery of education and excited to investigate how we can leverage current technology to create communities of learning and connection.

Here’s why:

  • The next stage of human evolution is digital, psychological, and ethical – not physical.
  • Ethical (spiritual) evolution is essential for our survival.
  • Learning propels human evolution.

Online Identity

In the online world, we play many roles. In some of our web communities we are friends, in others we are professionals, in some we are artists, in others we are entrepreneurs. Much of the time, we keep these identifies firmly locked in their neat little boundaries. After all, what good is our “brand” if it gets muddied by all of all other interests? For example, to keep my own “brand” and identity “clean” and “congruent,” I hosted two separate websites for several years: one for my work as an actor, and one for my work as a yogi. (I have permanently retired the acting site, friends, but could be persuaded to share my demo reel with you upon request for old times’ sake and a good laugh.)

As we use social media to create increasingly complex relationships, we selectively choose where and how to reveal ourselves. To maintain our brand and protect our privacy, information is partitioned and shared with discretion. If I’m trying to sell real estate, why would I blog about my garden? However, this separation – while it perhaps simplifies how we present our online identities – does not accurately reflect the totality of our human experience. I may blog about gardening on my real estate site because I am a real estate agent who is passionate about gardening. And someone who is looking at my site may actually (excuse the pun) dig it.

“Networked individuals can fashion their own complex identities depending on their passions, beliefs, lifestyles, professional associations, work interests, hobbies, or any number of other personal characteristics.”

Networked, The New Social Operating System.

The Task

Tasked with creating an educational blog for my current course on Web 2.0 (I’m currently pursuing my masters in Instructional Systems and Technology), I am choosing to go wholly unmasked! Rather than segregate my educational blog onto a separate “Student Rachel Site,” I will instead include my work and educational musings deliberately within the framework of my current yoga site. Because learning is so close to my heart, I would like to share the threads of this unfolding educational investigation here with my current community. I welcome your participation in any discussions that piques your interest. And in the process, we may learn more about each other.

May we connect in all ways that inspire us – and continue to celebrate our human complexity.

 

Photo credit.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Michelle

    Hey teacher, you need to connect with my neighbour, Julie Schell. She has a blog called Turn To Your Neighbor about peer instruction, using technology. This sounds right up her and maybe your alley. She’s currently at University of Texas, where I did my masters, but wasn’t fortunate enough to be in her faculty (mine was in education). Congratulations on new adventures!

  • Rachel

    Hi Michelle!
    I will get in touch with her, thanks for heads up!!

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